Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

2 1/2 lb Ground beef
1/2 large Onion (chopped)
8 cloves Garlic (minced)
2 15-oz can Diced tomatoes (with liquid)
1 6-oz can Tomato paste
1 4-oz can Green chiles (with liquid)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Chili powder
2 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Dried oregano
2 tsp Sea salt
1 tsp Black pepper
1 medium Bay leaf (optional)

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the chopped onion for 5-7 minutes, until translucent (or increase the time to about 20 minutes if you like them caramelized). Add the garlic and cook for a minute or less, until fragrant.

Add the ground beef. Cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned.
Transfer the ground beef mixture into a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, except bay leaf, and stir until combined. Place the bay leaf into the middle, if using.
Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. If you used a bay leaf, remove it before serving.

Instant Pot pressure cooker instructions

Select the “Sauté” setting on the pressure cooker (this part is done without the lid). Add the chopped onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, until translucent (or increase the time to about 20 minutes if you like them caramelized). Add the garlic and cook for a minute or less, until fragrant.

Add the ground beef. Cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned.
Add remaining ingredients, except bay leaf, to the Instant Pot and stir until combined. Place the bay leaf into the middle, if using.

Close the lid. Press “Keep Warm/Cancel” to stop the saute cycle. Select the “Meat/Stew” setting (35 minutes) to start pressure cooking.

Wait for the natural release if you can, or turn the valve to “vent” for quick release if you’re short on time. If you used a bay leaf, remove it before serving.

Basic Icebox Cake (and 7 Variations)

Cookies of choice
Nilla wafers, Graham crackers, animal crackers, chocolate chip cookies, gingersnaps, Oreos, amaretti cookies, Milanos, Biscoff, butter waffles—just avoid “coated” cookies (like frosted animal crackers) that will not be able to absorb the moisture from the whipped cream, as they’ll remain firm

Whipped cream of choice
Coffee- and/or booze-spiked; swirled with jam, peanut butter, tahini, caramel, dulce de leche, lemon curd; folded with cocoa powder, grapefruit zest, a splash of Campari; tangy with crème fraîche or Greek yogurt

Add-ins
Chopped chocolate, nuts, chocolate-covered espresso beans, or Luxardo cherries; cocoa nibs; fresh fruit; pistachio paste

Toppers and garnishes
Chocolate shavings or curls; marshmallows (brûlée them!); chocolate, strawberry, or caramel sauce; sprinkles; the streusel from your freezer

Customize each category to your liking. If you’re hunting for a unifying theme, look for inspiration from classic desserts—like tiramisu or banana cream pie or strawberry shortcake, or choose a color schemes—pink, green, yellow, golden—or a flavor profiles (fruity, chocolatey, nutty, salty-sweet).

Once you’ve picked your materials, arrange a layer of cookies, a layer of whipped cream, a layer of cookies… repeat until you’re finished. You can make a freestanding icebox cake on a round plate or tuck it into a plastic wrap-lined loaf pan for the neatest appearance. Finish with a layer of whipped cream if you want softness throughout, or end on a layer of cookies if you’re looking for more of a top crust sort of situation. Stick it in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours and the next time you see it, the cookies and cream will have joined in a perfect union.

Icebox cakes come in all shapes and sizes. The classic is: Nabisco chocolate wafers, layered with whipped cream, and stacked into a log. You could also build the cake in a circle, or arrange logs next to each other for a more-classic cake shape. You could flavor your whipped cream with peanut butter or coffee or caramel. You could use graham crackers or gingersnaps or thin chocolate chip cookies.

There are 5 Steps

Dump a lot of heavy cream into a bowl, and whip it until it holds a medium-to-stiff peak. If you’re measuring, whip 3 cups of cream for each sleeve of cookies. Before whipping, you can fold in flavorings like splash of vanilla or a big pinch of confectioner’s sugar, but the cream is great as is.

Take a cookie, spread a spoonful of whipped cream on top of it, and top it with another cookie. Repeat until you have a little tower. When the tower gets too high, lay it on its side.

Build another tower of cookies, lay it on its side, and connect your two cookie-logs. Repeat until the sleeve of wafers is finished, reserving some of your whipped cream. You should have one, big, messy log of cookies and cream.

Frost the log with your remaining whipped cream.

Cover your cake with foil, and let it rest in the fridge overnight. Before serving, you can garnish it with chocolate shavings or sprinkles — but I usually just slice it on the bias and dig in.

Tirami-icebox:
Biscoff cookies + whipped cream spiked with 1 tablespoon of espresso power and 1 tablespoon amaretto + cocoa powder and chocolate shavings

Birthday Cake:
Animal crackers + vanilla bean-flecked mascarpone whipped cream + rainbow sprinkles

Spumoni:
Milano cookies + whipped cream mixed with pistachio paste + halved strawberries and chopped chocolate

Matcha Mint:
Thin Mints (but we’d recommend Oreos instead—Thin Mints remain firm because of their chocolate shell) + mint-infused matcha whipped cream + sifted matcha

Cherry Chip:
Tate’s chocolate chip cookies + whipped cream mixed with chopped Luxardo cherries and miniature chocolate chips + additional cherries and chocolate

Berry Shortcake:
Belgian butter waffle cookies + whipped cream folded with raspberry preserves and almond extract + fresh fruit, confectioners’ sugar, and sliced almonds

Lemon Meringue:
Graham crackers + whipped cream folded with lemon curd + marshallow “meringue” topping

Dark Chocolate Pizzelle

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract

Add flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, add egg and brown sugar and mix on medium speed until mixture is smooth and has thickened, approx. one minute. Change the mixer speed to low and slowly pour in melted butter and vanilla extract until just combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, approx. 15 seconds, taking care not to overmix.

Heat your pizzelle iron to your desired leve. Brush the top and bottom of the iron with a small amount of cooking spray to ensure there wouldn’t be any sticking.

Add batter to the center of the bottom grid and repeat for the remaining grids in your iron. As the batter will spread when you close the iron, do not completely cover the pizzelle grid with batter. For a 4-inch pizzells, use 1-1/2 – 2 tsp batter. Adjust to less if you’re looking for smaller pizzelle.

Close the iron and cook until the timer light indicates, about a minute to a minute and a half. Remove pizzelle to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat for the remaining batter, brushing the pizzelle grids with cooking spray if needed throughout.

Double Chocolate Pizelle

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces very finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat the Pizzelle Press on Setting 3 while preparing the batter.

Place flour, cocoa, chopped chocolate, and baking powder in a small bowl and stir with a whisk or fork to combine; reserve.

Place eggs and sugar in a medium bowl and mix on medium speed for 1 minute, until thickened. On low speed, add the melted butter and vanilla in a steady stream and mix until combined, about 15 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 10 to 15 seconds; do not overmix. It may be necessary to lightly brush both the top and bottom grids with a flavorless vegetable oil or melted vegetable shortening before baking.

Use the spoon provided to scoop the dough, about 1-1/2 – 2 teaspoons, and drop onto one of the patterned cookie grids; repeat to make a second cookie. Close the lid and lock. The red indicator light will come on. When the red indicator light goes out and the green indicator light comes on, the pizzelle are ready.

Adjust baking times for softer or crispier cookies, according to personal preference.

Remove pizzelle from the press using a heatproof plastic spatula and place on a rack to cool completely. Warm pizzelle may be wrapped around the dowel provided to form cannoli shells. Completely cooled pizzelle may be dusted with powdered sugar before serving.

Variation: Mocha Almond Pizzelle: Dissolve 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder in 2 tablespoons hot water. Add to batter along with 1/3 cup finely ground almonds. Use 1-1/2 teaspoons each of almond and vanilla extracts in place of 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

Make 36-40 pizelle.

Notes:

If you are rolling pizelle, roll them immediatelynupon removing them from the press.

Hot pizelle can be molded areound a cylinder or a ramekin to create a cup.

Pizelle can be frozen. Stack in small bundles with a paper towel between them and store in an airtight bag.

If pizelle become soft, place on a cookie sheet in a 300 degree oven for 3-5 minutes.

Pizelle batter can be made 24 hours in advance and refrigerated. Warm batter to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).

Classic Pizzelle

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or anise extract

Preheat the Pizzelle Press on Setting 3 while preparing the batter.

Place flour and baking powder in a small bowl and stir to combine; reserve.

Place eggs and sugar in a medium bowl and mix on medium speed for 1 minute, until thickened. On low speed, add the melted butter and vanilla in a steady stream and mix until combined, about 15 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 10 to 15 seconds; do not over mix.

It may be necessary to lightly brush both the top and bottom grids with a flavorless vegetable oil or melted vegetable shortening before baking. Use the spoon provided to scoop the dough, about 1-1/2 – 2 teaspoons, and drop onto one of the patterned cookie grids; repeat to make a second cookie.

Close the lid and lock. The red indicator light will come on. When the red indicator light goes out and the green indicator light comes on, the pizzelle are ready.

For a lighter colored pizzelle, bake for a shorter time; for darker pizzelle, add a few more seconds. Remove pizzelle from the press using a heatproof plastic spatula and place on a rack to cool completely. Warm pizzelle may be wrapped around the dowel provided to form cannoli shells. Completely cooled pizzelle may be dusted with powdered sugar before serving.

Variations: Marble Pizzelle: Add 2 ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate to the batter. Bake as directed.

Make 36-40 pizelle.

Notes:

If you are rolling pizelle, roll them immediatelynupon removing them from the press.

Hot pizelle can be molded areound a cylinder or a ramekin to create a cup.

Pizelle can be frozen. Stack in small bundles with a paper towel between them and store in an airtight bag.

If pizelle become soft, place on a cookie sheet in a 300 degree oven for 3-5 minutes.

Pizelle batter can be made 24 hours in advance and refrigerated. Warm batter to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).

Strawberry Freezer Jam

1 box of Pomona’s Pectin
4-5 cups pureed or crushed strawberries, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of strawberries (crush or puree to desired consistency, I like the mixture fairly smooth)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (or honey, see note above)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cups boiling water

Take out the small white packet of calcium powder and measure 1/2 teaspoon into a jar or container with a lid. Pour in 1/2 cup water. Shake well; set aside.
Add the sugar and lemon juice to the strawberries and stir well.
In a blender, combine the boiling water and 1 tablespoon of pectin (in the large white packet). Process until smooth.
Add the warm pectin mixture to the strawberries and mix to combine. The mixture will start to jell and thicken.
Shake the calcium water to recombine and measure out 4 teaspoons; add to the jam. Stir well. (Extra calcium water can be stored in the refrigerator for months.)
Portion the jam into containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal with a lid. Store in the freezer (for up to a year) or in the refrigerator (for several weeks).
NOTES:

This recipe has only been tested and made using Pomona’s Pectin; other brands of pectin will not work the same in this recipe. I’ve never made the jam with all honey (although you can); but half sugar/half honey is delicious. And speaking of sweetener, you can cut the sugar down even more if you like, the minimum being 3/4 cup sugar or 1/2 cup honey.

Following the recipe below, you’ll have leftover pectin and calcium powder, simply fold down the tops of the packet or place in a small bag and store it in the Pomona’s box to use later. It won’t spoil. One box of Pomona’s Pectin will make three batches of the recipe below (so about 8-9 pints of jam, depending on amount of sweetener used). This recipe can be doubled. I use my food processor to puree the strawberries and it makes adding/mixing in the pectin and calcium water simple, too.

Strawberry Ice Cream

30 ounces (1 quart plus a little extra) fresh strawberries, divided (see note above)
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
4 tablespoons 80-proof liquor such as vodka or, preferably, Cointreau
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
Scant drops of lemon juice, if needed

Hull and quarter 6 ounces (about 1 cup) strawberries, then slice quarters crosswise into very thin pieces. In a mixing bowl, combine strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar and alcohol and let stand in refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Hull remaining strawberries and purée at high speed in a blender until very smooth, about 30 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to filter out all seeds and fibers, then measure and reserve 1 1/2 cups purée. Extra purée, if there is any, can be put to another use.

In a clean mixing bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups strawberry purée with half and half, corn syrup, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until fully combined. Add salt to taste, and, if mixture is too sweet, a few drops of lemon juice.

Chill in refrigerator or ice bath until base is very cold, at least 45°F, then churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. In the last minute of churning, retrieve strawberry mix-ins from the refrigerator, strain off syrup, and add mix-ins to the churn; reserve strawberry syrup for another use (it makes a great daiquiri). Transfer ice cream to airtight container and chill in freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Soup

1 3- to 4-pound chicken, or an equivalent mix of bone-in thighs, legs, or breast meat
4 ribs celery, sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium parsnip, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
12 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
3 large sprigs fresh thyme
4 teaspoons salt
2 quarts water

Put the chicken in the pot of a pressure cooker, breast side up.

Layer all of the other ingredients into the pot, pouring in the water last to avoid splashing. Adding four teaspoons of salt at this point will result in a well-seasoned soup broth. Use less salt or eliminate if you’d like to make basic chicken broth to use for other purposes.

Cook the soup: Place the lid on the pressure cooker. Make sure the pressure regulator is set to the “Sealing” position. Select the “Manual” program, then set the time to 25 minutes at high pressure. (Instant Pot users can also select the “Soup” program and follow the same cooking time. For stovetop pressure cookers, cook at high pressure for 22 minutes.)
It will take about 35 minutes for your pressure cooker to come up to pressure, and then the actual cooking will begin. Total time from the time you seal the pressure cooker to the finished dish is about one hour.

When the soup has finished cooking, wait about 15 minutes before “quick” releasing the pressure. This helps prevent a lot of steamy broth spitting out of the valve. You can also cover the valve with a kitchen towel while it vents to help disperse the steam.

Prepare the chicken meat: Use a pair of tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the pot, and transfer it to a dish to cool until you can comfortably handle it, about 20 minutes. It may come apart as you are removing it from the pot, so go slowly and carefully.

Take the meat off of the bones, and discard the bones, skin, and cartilage. Cut or tear the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Stir the chicken meat back into the soup. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Let any leftover soup cool completely, then store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. The soup may gel as it cools; it will liquefy again when heated.

To make chicken and dumplings, mix up a basic dumpling dough (see next recipe), spoon it over the finished soup, and lock the lid back on. Cook on “low pressure” for 10 minutes (or 8 minutes for stovetop pressure cooker, or 20 minutes simmered over low heat for stovetop).

Stovetop Instructions: Put the chicken in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, breast side up. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, pouring in the water last to avoid splashing. Cover the pot and place it on the stove over medium heat.
When the soup comes to a boil, turn it down to low and simmer, covered, until the chicken is tender and the meat is just beginning to come away from the bones, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Continue with the remaining steps as described in the recipe.

Romesco Sauce

1/4 cup [30 g] almonds
1/4 cup [30 g] hazelnuts
4 red bell peppers
11/2 lb [680 g] Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup [7 g] chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves Garlic Confit (see Gjelina)
1/2 cup [120 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F

On a rimmed baking sheet, spread out the almonds and hazelnuts in an even layer. Toast until lightly browned and aromatic, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Increase the oven temperature to 450°F.

Place the bell peppers and tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides and starting to soften. Alternatively, you can use a grill or a grill pan. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and allow them to steam. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skins with a towel and remove the seeds.

In a food processor, combine the cooled almonds and hazelnuts, roasted vegetables, parsley, garlic confit, and olive oil. Process to make a coarse sauce with some chunks remaining. Add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Supreme Broth

1 3-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 pound pork rib bones
1 1/2-pound slice Virginia ham or slab bacon
1 2-inch knob fresh ginger, smashed and coarsely chopped
1 bunch scallions (green and white parts), halved crosswise
garlic cloves, smashed
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 tablespoons goji berries
10 red dates
6 whole dried shiitake mushrooms
Shaoxing rice wine, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
Chopped scallions (green and white parts), for garnish (optional)

Place the chicken (including head and feet if you have them), pork bones, and ham in a large stockpot, and add water to cover. Bring the water to a boil and then cook just long enough to rinse the meats of scum and fat, about 10 minutes. Discard the water and rinse the meats and the pot.

Return the rinsed meats and bones to the clean pot, and add water to cover by 1/2 inch. Bring the water to a boil, and then add the ginger, scallions, garlic, onion, goji berries, red dates, and mushrooms. Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 2 hours, occasionally skimming any fat off the surface, to produce a finished stock. Strain the stock with a fine-mesh sieve.

Add the Shaoxing rice wine, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve the soup as part of a meal or with rice and pickles. The soup will also benefit from a garnish of chopped cilantro and scallions.

Store any remaining soup in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for about a month.

This recipe works with just about any chicken, but see if you can get your hands on a Longgang heritage chicken, available at most Chinese groceries and renowned for its texture and sumptuous taste. It will produce a

Pressure Cooker Ragu Bolognese

1 cup (225 milliliters) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
4 packets powdered gelatin (1 ounce/30 grams)
2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound (225 grams) finely diced pancetta
1 large onion, finely minced (about 1 1/2 cups/300 grams)
2 large carrots, finely chopped (about 1 cup/200 grams)
2 large stalks celery, finely chopped (about 1 cup/200 grams)
4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons/15 grams)
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, minced (about 1/4 ounce/8 grams)
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 1/2 ounce/15 grams), divided
1/2 pound (225 grams) finely minced chicken livers
2 pounds (900 grams) ground beef chuck (about 20% fat)
1 pound (450 grams) ground pork shoulder (about 20% fat)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (450 milliliters) dry red wine
1 (14-ounce/400-gram) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
1 1/2 cups (350 milliliters) heavy cream, divided
2 bay leaves
3 ounces (80 grams) finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 milliliters) Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, minced (about 1/4 ounce/8 grams)
To Serve:
1 1/2 pounds (700 grams) pappardelle or tagliatelle, or 1 pound (450 grams) dried penne
Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Place stock in a 1-cup liquid measure and sprinkle with gelatin. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a pressure cooker over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until pancetta is browned and crisp, about 12 minutes. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, sage, and half of parsley and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 8 minutes.

Increase heat to high, add chicken livers, and cook, stirring, until livers are no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add beef and pork, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring and breaking up meat with a wooden spoon or a potato masher, until meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until excess liquid has evaporated and the meat starts to sizzle, about 25 minutes.

Add stock and gelatin mixture, wine, tomatoes, 1 cup heavy cream, and bay leaves. Seal and cook at high pressure (12 to 15 psi) for 30 minutes. Release pressure and remove lid. Simmer over moderate heat until thick and emulsified, 30 to 45 minutes longer.

Stir in remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream, Parmesan, fish sauce, basil, and remaining parsley. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bolognese can be cooled and stored in sealed containers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

To Serve: Heat Bolognese in a large pot until just simmering. Set aside. Cook pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until just barely al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Transfer to a large skillet or sauteuse and add 3/4 of sauce, along with cooking water. Cook over high heat, tossing and stirring gently, until sauce is thick and pasta is coated, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with remaining sauce. Serve immediately, passing extra Parmesan at the table.

Pressure Cooker Tomato Sauce

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes (about 1.5kg total) (see note above)
2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon (about 2g) red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon (about 4g) dried oregano
1 small carrot (about 4 ounces; 110g), cut into large chunks
1 small onion (about 5 ounces; 140g), split in half
1 large stem fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons (10ml) Asian fish sauce, optional
1/4 cup (about 10g) minced fresh parsley or basil leaves (or a mix of the two)

Place tomatoes in a large bowl. Using your hands, crush tomatoes by squeezing them through your fingers until pieces no larger than 1/2 inch remain. Transfer 1 cup (240ml) of crushed tomatoes to a sealed container and reserve in the refrigerator until step 3.

Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a pressure cooker until butter is melted. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add pepper flakes and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, carrot, onion, and basil and stir to combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Seal pressure cooker and bring to high pressure. Cook for 45 minutes, then release pressure and open lid.

Using tongs, discard onion halves, carrot, and basil. Add reserved tomatoes to sauce and stir to combine. Add fish sauce, if using. Season generously with salt and pepper and stir in minced herbs, along with additional olive oil as desired. Serve immediately, or allow to cool at room temperature, transfer to airtight containers, and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Sauce can also be frozen in sealed containers for up to 6 months. To reheat, warm very gently in a saucepan with 1/2 cup (120ml) water, stirring until it all melts and heats through.

Shish Barak (Lebanese Lamb Dumplings)

Makes about 40

For the filling:

1 pound ground lamb
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon harissa
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Make the filling by mixing and kneading the ground lamb meat with the rest of the filling ingredients. Mix well to amalgamate and leave refrigerated for at least a couple hours and up to overnight.

For the dough and the dressing:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup hot water
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, optional
1 cup thick yogurt (labneh or Fage)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

To make the dough, place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the salt, olive oil, and water into the well. Using a fork, beat the flour into the dough, switching to kneading with your hands once the dough thickens. Knead the dough on a smooth surface until the dough is very smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest about 20 minutes.

To make the dumplings, roll 1/4 of the dough out on a flat surface. Roll out to about 1/16-inch thin, then cut into circles using a ravioli stamp or biscuit cutter.

Place a small ball of lamb filling in the center of the dough and fold into a crescent moon shape pinching hard all around the edge to seal. Pinch together the two tips and place on a lightly-floured sheet tray or flat plate.

To cook: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. In a nearby skillet, melt the butter with the dried mint and Aleppo pepper, if using. When the water boils, fill a large serving bowl with a ladleful of the cooking water to warm the bowl. Swish the water around and dump all but about 1/4 cup. Whisk the yogurt in the water, thinning it out and warming it.

Boil the dumplings in the water; once they float to the top, let them bob for 3 to 4 minutes (check one for doneness), then place them in the warm bowl with the yogurt. Swirl to coat and then drizzle the butter all over and sprinkle the pine nuts on top. Serve and eat immediately.

Peanut Butter Change-Ups

2 cups (384 grams) flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups (384 grams) smooth or chunky peanut butter, at room temperature (see headnote)
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2/3 cup (134 grams) packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup (146 grams), lightly salted peanuts, finely chopped
DIRECTIONS

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and nutmeg (to taste) in a medium bowl.

Combine the peanut butter, unsalted butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld mixer; beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until very smooth. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Add the granulated and light brown sugars; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until they are well incorporated. Beat in the eggs one at a time for 1 minute each on medium speed. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Add the flour mixture all at once; pulse a few times to start blending in those dry ingredients, then beat on medium-low speed until well incorporated. Add the chopped peanuts and beat on low speed, just until evenly distributed. Stop the motor; use a spatula to give the dough a few turns, making sure no trace of flour is left.

Use a medium cookie scoop (about 1 1/2 tablespoons, a #40 disher) to transfer level scoops of dough to the baking sheets, spacing the dough mounds 1 1/2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of the mounds with granulated sugar.

Bake (upper and lower racks) for 10 minutes, then rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back; bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until the edges are set but the cookies feel squeezable. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks to cool for 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies directly to the racks to cool completely.

Repeat to use the remaining dough, making sure the baking sheets are cool before reusing.

Tweaking the shape of the classic peanut butter cookie creates crisp edges and a soft, caky center — plus “inexplicably” more flavor.

Use a peanut butter that doesn’t separate, recommending Skippy brand.

Make Ahead: The dough can be portioned into mounds and frozen for up to 2 months. The baked cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Tested size: 54 cookies

Self-Rising Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour
1/4 cup cold butter (cut into pats), or shortening
2/3 to 3/4 cup cold milk or buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Place the flour in a bowl. Work in the butter or shortening just until crumbs are the size of large peas.

Add 2/3 cup of the milk or buttermilk, and stir until the mixture holds together and leaves the sides of the bowl, adding more milk or buttermilk if needed.

Scoop the dough onto a well-floured surface, and fold it over on itself several times, using more flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Roll or pat the dough into a 5″ x 8 1/2″ rectangle about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick.

Cut biscuits with a sharp, round 2″ cutter, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts to reduce sticking. Or cut the rectangle into 12 small rectangular biscuits, which will allow you to skip the step of re-rolling and cutting scraps.

If you’ve used a round cutter, pat the scraps together, and cut additional biscuits.
Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 1″ between them for crisp biscuits. Arrange biscuits so they’re barely touching for soft-side biscuits. For higher-rising soft-side biscuits, place biscuits in an 8″ round pan.

Bake the biscuits for 10 to 14 minutes, or until they’re a light golden brown.
Remove them from the oven, and serve hot.

Cool leftovers completely, wrap airtight, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

To refresh room-temperature biscuits, place on a baking sheet, tent lightly with foil, and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 to 13 minutes, until heated through.

Yield: about 1 dozen 2″ biscuits.

To make a sweeter, shortcake-type biscuit, add 3 tablespoons sugar to the flour, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the milk.

For cheese biscuits, mix 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard and a pinch of cayenne pepper with the flour; work in the butter or shortening, then toss in 1 cup shredded cheese before adding the milk.

Classic Plum Torte (and 5 Variations)

3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt (optional)
2 eggs
24 halves pitted purple plums
Sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, for topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.

Spoon the batter into a springform pan of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter.

Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.

Bake 1 hour, approximately. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream.

To freeze, double-wrap the torte in foil, place in a plastic bag and seal. To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.

Variations:

1. Replace the plums with almost any seasonal fruit: apricots, halved and pitted; cranberries or any summer berry; sliced apples, nectarines, peaches and pears. Canned and frozen fruit can stand in for fresh. Reader comments:
–Made this for the first time using 4 cups of blueberries and raspberries (mixed). It was perfect!

–I’ve been using a version of this for years as a cranberry holiday bread.

–I have made this with about a quart of drained canned fruit of any type, as well as frozen. I can plums, peaches and pears in season, and if a jar fails to seal, you can bake this cake with it rather than reprocess the jar.

2. Experiment with spices, herbs and extracts: vanilla extract, almond extract, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, rosemary, orange or lemon zest. Reader comments:

–I add about a half teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract to the batter. This cake is so easy and good. I even memorized the recipe — except my memorization was imperfect and I baked the cake with the fruit on the bottom by accident. It still was delicious!

–I added a teaspoon of finely minced fresh rosemary to the batter… nice, subtle flavor.

3. Play with the flours. You can add almond or cornmeal flour to the all-purpose flour, or swap in gluten-free flour blends, with excellent results. (Melissa Clark made a version with whole wheat flour.) Reader comments:

Made this with gluten-free flour and it turned out Perfectly! Everyone loved it.

I substituted 1/2 cup almond meal and 1/2 cup brown rice flour for 1 cup of wheat flour. I also added parchment paper over the greased bottom of the spring pan. It was delicious served warm.

Made this last night after tasting the one made by our daughter. Used raspberries and blackberries, one basket each, instead of plums, and 1/3 cup cornmeal and 2/3 cup flour. Fantastic!!! The cornmeal adds a very sophisticated “Italian” character to it, very slight crunch, and amazing flavor.

4. Double, triple, even quadruple it. The batter scales up like a dream, and the baked cake freezes well. Reader comments:

This is one of my favorite recipes and has been for many years. In addition to plums, I’ve used blueberries, peaches, apples and various combinations of more than one fruit. It also freezes great. I line the baking dish with aluminum foil and once baked and cooled slightly, turn the baking dish upside down on a plate, peel off the foil, then turn it right-side up on another plate.

Double the recipe and it fits nicely in 13-by-9-inch disposable aluminum pans.

5. Change up the pan. The torte can be baked in any dish provided it’s approximately 8 to 10 inches in diameter and oven-safe.

Make it in any Pyrex, casserole, anything.

Used my pie plate because my springform pan was nowhere to be found.

A 9-inch pan gives greater height and moisture to the tart than a 10-inch pan.

2-Ingredient Biscuits

Makes 12 biscuits

6 ounces /170 grams (1 1/2 cups) self-rising flour
1/4 to 1/8 teaspoons salt (optional; for a saltier biscuit)
6 ounces /170 grams (3/4 cup) heavy or whipping cream

Heat the oven to 450° F, with a rack in the top third of the oven. Mix the flour and salt together (if using), then add the cream until smooth and batter-like. If it’s not coming together, you can use your hands to lightly knead and press it together in the bowl.

Scoop 1-ounce balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a couple of inches between them. A tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. Alternately, pat the dough 3/4 inch thick and cut biscuits with a cutter, if desired. (At this point the biscuits can be frozen and baked straight from the freezer.)

Brush the tops of the biscuits with cream, milk, or water. Bake the biscuits 10 minutes or so, or until they are light golden brown on top and baked all the way through. Break one open to make sure they’re done!

Serve warm or at room temperature; to store, wrap well in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature.

To keep them longer, store in the freezer.

World Peace Cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Valrhona unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into chunks
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel (or 1/4 t fine sea salt)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 oz great-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into irregular-sized bits, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt, and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more. You want the mixture to be smooth, but not airy. (With cookies, it’s better to beat less than more.)

Turn off the mixer and pour in all the dry ingredients. Pulse the mixer a few times to start the blending. When the risk of flying flour has passed, turn the mixer to low and beat only until the flour and cocoa disappear into the dough. For the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix to incorporate. (This is an unpredictable dough. Sometimes it’s crumbly and sometimes it comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl. No matter what, the cookies always come out great.)

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather it together—if it’s really crumbly or not easily gatherable, knead it a bit (it can take it). Divide the dough in half.

Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Don’t worry about the length—get the diameter right and the length will follow. (If you get a hollow in the logs, it happens; just start over.) Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours, or freeze them (my preference) for at least 2 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking—just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

When you’re ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Using a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them—don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes—don’t open the oven; just let them bake. When the buzzer rings, they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can munch them or let them reach room temperature. (I think the texture’s more interesting at room temperature.)

Storing: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months, as can the logs of dough.

Olive Oil and Wine Cookies

Makes about 36 cookies

2 3/4 C (374 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil, extra-virgin or not, preferably fruity
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 ml) white wine, preferably sweet (see note above)
sugar, for dredging

Dorie’s notes: Right after they’re baked, their texture is crunchy at the tips and cakey in the center—wait a day or so, and the chubby middle dries and starts to resemble a great tea biscuit. In fact, I like these best after they’ve had a little time to age and develop a crunchier texture and a more mellow flavor.

You can use any white wine or even any rosé you have on hand, but if you use a sweet or off-dry wine, you’ll come closer to the original cookies, which are made with Muscat de Rivesaltes, a Roussillon star. In the Languedoc-Roussillon, these cookies are often flavored with orange-flower water (instead of vanilla) or enriched with anise seeds. My favorite addition is grated orange (or tangerine or clementine) zest. To get the most out of the zest, first put the sugar in the mixing bowl, sprinkle over the zest, and use your fingers to rub the sugar and zest together until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and continue with the recipe.

One-bowl Coffee Cake (Any Flavor)

Makes one 8-inch cake

1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (175 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted and warm
1/3 cup heavy cream, lukewarm

Optional flavorings (see note)

Line the bottom of an 8-inch round pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.

Preheat the oven to 375° F with a rack in the lower third. Whisk the flour and baking powder together thoroughly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, with a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla on high speed until it is thick and pale, 3 to 4 minutes.

Beat in the melted butter, then add the flour mixture and fold and stir until blended.

Stir in the cream and any add-ins.

Scrape into the pan.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Set the pan on a rack to cool. After at least 10 minutes (but you can wait as long as you like), slide a slim knife or spatula around the edges of the cake to detach it from the pan.

Invert the cake onto the rack and peel off the paper liner. Turn the cake right side up to cool completely on the rack before using or storing.

Cake keeps at room temperature, wrapped airtight, for about 3 days, or in the freezer up to 3 months.

Notes: Some guidelines for adding flavors:
Seeds: 1 teaspoon or less of aromatic seeds such as caraway, fennel or anise, or as much as 3 to 4 tablespoons poppy seeds or toasted sesame seeds.

Citrus: Grate the zest of a medium orange or large lemon directly into the bowl to catch the spray of fragrant oil as well as zest; you can add 1 teaspoon orange flower water with the orange zest, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract with the lemon zest.

Cardamom: Crushed seeds from 3 or 4 pods or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom